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Cost-of-Living Crisis Starts to Bite 

Press release: 12.04.2022

  • The post-Covid surge falters as the number of people searching for new homes across the UK falls by -7% through April to 46,864
  • Luxury property search is hit hardest with a -28% drop in search, Help to Buy is down -25%, and search for retirement new build properties is down -18% on March figures
  • Nationwide buyer interest in new homes is now on a par with pre pandemic levels, and signifies a cooling following a 3-month period of sustained growth in home hunter search
  • The data gives an early warning that home hunter interest in new homes could stall, as the cost-of-living crisis kicks in and buyers across all home types await news on further interest rate, energy and council tax hikes

New data from whathouse.com, the UK’s leading new home audience platform, can reveal that home hunter desire for new build homes has faltered - as search slows by 7%.

April data from the whathouse.com Index suggests that home hunters across all new home types including, Luxury, Help to Buy, and Retirement, are worried about the cost-of-living crisis, indicating that regardless of lifestyle stage, many buyers may hit pause on new home ownership until affordability is more certain.   

However, while search cooled by 7% during April, this follows a 3-month period of unparalleled, sustained growth.  People’s search for new build homes has now returned to pre pandemic levels, a strong indicator that, for the time being, general market sentiment remains healthy.  The data suggests that homebuyer’s dual desire to put into action long-planned lifestyle changes and reduce household running costs continues to fuel interest in new build homes. 

Daniel Hill, Managing Director, whathouse.com comments:

“The first three months of 2022 represented a seemingly limitless surge in home hunter interest in new build homes, as people took action to achieve their long-planned lifestyle goals once final pandemic restrictions were lifted.   Now, as the cost-of-living crisis bites, the brakes are starting to go on.  We’re seeing an early wave of home hunters reconsidering new home search and delaying research into suitable developments.  The reality of housing affordability and continued economic uncertainty means this slowing looks set to carry on through May and for the remainder of the summer.

However, we don’t expect search interest to fall off a cliff: there remains a significant number of people who have taken the opportunity to save over the past twenty-four months and are now in a position to take advantage of relatively affordable cost of borrowing to step-up to a new build.  We are by no means in a crisis, and the new homes market should see a positive year provided that the economy doesn't significantly worsen more quickly than anticipated.”

Whathouse.com anticipates that May, traditionally one of the best months for home hunter interest, will close on a slightly lower than expected search total - buoyed by buyers who are still able to take advantage of a relatively affordable cost of borrowing.

Notes to Editors:

The WhatHouse? New Homes Index is based on data sourced from the whathouse.com new homes audience platform.  The Index is compiled using a sample representing approx. 400,000 new home buyer searches across England, Scotland and Wales per year and its findings are reflective of whathouse.com user experiences and geographic market share. 

The information and data in this report was correct at the time of publishing and every attempt is made to ensure its accuracy. However, it may now be out of date or superseded. Whathouse.com make no representation or warranty of any kind regarding the content of this report and accept no responsibility or liability for any decisions made by the reader based on the information and/or data shown here.

About WhatHouse?

Whathouse.com is the UK’s leading new home audience platform. For more than 30 years’ its aim has been to inspire UK homebuyer decisions around new property. With a comprehensive directory of over 7,000 new homes, from the UK’s most celebrated housebuilders, WhatHouse? makes it easy for buyers to consider the diverse range of property types and tenures available and to find their perfect new home match.  The annual WhatHouse? Awards started out back in 1980 and is dubbed ‘the Oscars of the housebuilding industry’.  

Contact our press team:

WhatHouse? Online Press Centre

Call Jill Willis: 07855 409970 Email: [email protected]

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